Friday 13 August 2010

Dating - The Jade Chip Rage 1970s

One of the easiest pieces of 1970s jewellery to date is the jade chip or gemstone chip ones from the seventies. However to identify whether it is actually jade or what type of vintage gemstone jewellery is much much harder!

It was all the rage in 1970s jewellery to have a ring, bracelet or necklace with bright green jade type chips in. Many were imported from China and Hong Kong but the UK jewellery company Exquisite also did a range.
This fashion craze started around the mid-1970s and lasted a couple of years before drifting through an amethyst or lavender coloured jade chip jewellery (which was not as fashionable) before finally petering out.

Gemstone chip vintage brooch in Vintage green brooches

Jade jewellery has continued being produced to today. The use of the gemstone is steeped in history, thought to have healing properties and slow aging. Brings happiness and good fortune to the owner. In particular is thought to protect the dead and connect with their spirits.

There are two forms of jade: nephrite and jadeite.
Nephrite is a tough mineral and difficult to break. Its name comes from the word kidney and so is believed to heal the kidneys.
Jadeite is a more granular form and when polished has a slight dimple form. It is as hard as quartz.

Above is a dyed quartz beaded belt. Not jade and not Carnelian or Coral - which has been dyed to imitate. 
Jade varies in colour from a bright translucent green, a turquoise green, light blue to a very pale almost white green. Black nephrite jade originates from China. Jadeite is available in green, lavender, pink, orange and brown mainly from Burma. Jade can also be dyed many other colours. Colour and clarity of jade effects the price and value. Clear, bright and even coloured jade demands high prices.  

Identifying jade is a headache as many different gemstones are used. Imitations were mostly used in costume jewellery and real jade with gold and silver settings. But again not always!

Bowenite - softer than jade and can be scratched
Grossulaar garnet - labelled "African or Transvaal jade"
Dyed marble

Gemstones are colder than glass to the touch but unless you are an expert in jade, then using a gem tester makes identification easier. Interestingly some of the cheaper gemstones used then have now become collectible in their own right.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! Vintage jewelry and beads! Where has this blog been all my life?

    Delighted that you've "signed up" for my blog and hoping to reciprocate.


About Me

My photo
Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.